Faultline Blended Scotch Whisky

Faultline Blended Scotch, K&L
K&L released this blend under their Faultline label earlier this year (or was it late last year)? I wasn’t very interested in it at first but when Michael K. suggested a bottle split I decided to give it a go. It’s cheap to begin with and a quarter of the bottle was really cheap. He then suggested we review it simultaneously and roped Jordan D. of Chemistry of the Cocktail in as well. And so here I am. If all goes according to plan Michael and Jordan’s reviews should go up at the same time, and I’ll link to them when I’m awake in the morning. (Here and here.)

I know nothing about this whisky or of what David D. said about it, but I’m sure it’s the very best blended whisky anyone has ever made. I think I remember Sku liking it a lot, so I guess it has a decent ceiling; at worst, the rest’ll get used up in my vattings.

Faultline Blended Scotch Whisky (50%; from a bottle split with friends)

Nose: Rubbery peat with a big floral component—quite new makey. Vanilla sweetness below that top layer and some cereals as well. Some lemon with time but the smell of immaturity never quite goes away. With water the peat’s tamped down and the new makey notes are amplified.

Palate: Pretty much as advertised by the nose but saltier at first and more plasticky at second. The grain component is more obvious here. Gets sourer (uncoated tablet) as it goes. Not much more to it with time. How about with water? Well, it’s more drinkable, I suppose: less astringent.

Finish: Medium. Mildly peaty and peppery but the astringent notes follow as well. As on the palate with water. At the very end there’s some nice coal smoke.

Comments: Well, it was better than expected on the nose but much worse on the palate and finish. I don’t know what the options are for blends in the $25 range but you can get better entry-level malts for the same price. If you want a proper, peaty blend, spend a bit more and get the JW Black. I don’t know that I could find use for a full bottle, and, frankly, I don’t even know that I want to put this in one of my vattings—I’ll probably dispose of the rest in cocktail form. Still, thanks to the nose it’s better than Dewar’s White Label.

Rating: 70 points.

8 thoughts on “Faultline Blended Scotch Whisky

  1. Michael and Jordan liked it more (their reviews are now linked above), with Jordan seemingly liking it the most. They both note though that they liked it far more after their split had been opened for a while. I opened mine for this review. Well, maybe I’ll give it another chance after a couple of weeks and report back.

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    • My review would have been much closer to yours if I had taken notes right when I first opened it up. It was close to undrinkable at that point without adding extra malt to smooth things out. Time and a little headspace really changed it for me.

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      • Yeah, it was really rough at the top. JW Red with peat. Or maybe Lauder’s with peat. I thought, “Man, I’m glad this is cheap or no one will split bottles with me after this. :(.” Yes, I thought frowny face. But the whisky did get better. Though, I’ve had my fill of this blend now. The original Faultline bourbon was more fun.

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  2. It’s great to see a blend at 50% ABV and uncolored.

    Despite that, I thought it was pretty “meh.” I ordered one from K&L at the same time that I had ordered one of those Hepburn’s Choice 5 YO Caol Ilas, and I ended up dumping the two together, which was an improvement on both ends.

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      • Michael, it was worth $40. On a couple occasions, I thought “Yes! This is what straightforward peated whisky should taste like!” But on quite a few more occasions, I thought “Eww, a little bit gross.”

        As I alluded to above, it was the rough sort of bottle that was best suited to being mellowed out by vatting with something milder. The combo was quite decent.

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